Current issue: 55(4)
Under compilation: 55(5)
Modern forestry, which mainly consists of clear-cutting, is one of the most important factors influencing today’s boreal forests. In Sweden, the breaking point for modern forestry is generally considered to be around 1950. Recently, our common knowledge of the implementation of clear-cutting in Sweden has increased, and new research indicates that clear-cutting systems were already applied before the 1950s. In this case study, we used aerial photographs from the 1940s to analyze the extent of contemporaneous clear-cuts and even-aged young forests in an area in northern Sweden. Our results show that almost 40% of the study area had already been clear-cut by the end of the 1940s, but also that clear-cutting had been applied to 10% of the forest land in the early 1900s. This implies that the historical development of forestry in northern Sweden is more complex than previously thought, and that certain proportions of the forest land were already second-generation forests in the 1950s. Our results have implications for the use of concepts such as “continuity forest”, suggesting that this concept should employ a time frame of at least 100 years.
The pine weevil Hylobius abietis L. is an economically important pest insect that kills high proportions of conifer seedlings in reforestation areas. It is present in conifer forests all over Europe but weevil abundance and risk for damage varies considerably between areas. This study aimed to obtain a useful model for predicting damage risks by analyzing survey data from 292 regular forest plantations in northern Sweden. A model of pine weevil attack was constructed using various site characteristics, including both climatic factors and factors related to forest management activities. The optimal model was rather imprecise but showed that the risk of pine weevil attack can be predicted approximatively with three principal variables: 1) the proportion of seedlings expected to be planted in mineral soil rather than soil covered with duff and debris, 2) age of clear-cut at the time of planting, and 3) calculated temperature sum at the location. The model was constructed using long-run average temperature sums for epoch 2010, and so effects of climate change can be inferred from the model by adjustment to future epochs. Increased damage risks with a warmer climate are strongly indicated by the model. Effects of a warmer climate on the geographical distribution and abundance of the pine weevil are also discussed. The new tool to better estimate the risk of damage should provide a basis for foresters in their choice of countermeasures against pine weevil damage in northern Europe.
The present investigation revealed that the influence of a forest cover on the water economy of the soil is very great in Finland. Cutting of the forest gave cause to a rise of the ground water table, which, when clear-cutting is in question, reached a magnitude of 20–40 cm. The water supplies of the soil increased 40–60 mm. In the winter, too, the ground water remaind at a lower level in the forest than in opening, however, the difference is rather small. Thinnings had same kind of effect as clear-cuttings, but the influence of even heavy thinnings was still relatively small.
The water supplies of the soil after felling decreased mainly due to the decrease in the interception in the canopy. When the water table is at the same level in the forest and in opening, evapotranspiration might be greater in the forest than in openings. However, when the water level is during the growing season considerably lower in the forest than in an opening, the evapotranspiration is strongly decreased in the forest, which means that more water is evaporated and transpirated from the opening than from the forest. Because the water table is at a higher level in the opening than in the forest, runoff from clear-cut areas has exceeded that from the forest. This means that the influence of felling on the water economy of the soil is actually even greater than indicated in this work.
The results mean that the influence of the forest cover makes up that of drainage. This affects the need for maintenance of ditches. On the other hand, the final cutting will rise the ground water strongly.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The colonisation of a burned clear-cut by ants in southern Finland was monitored using pitfall traps, artificial nest sites, and direct nest sampling from the ground and stumps. Clearcutting and fire seemed to have destroyed wood-ant colonies (Formica rufa group), and also other mature-forest species suffered from fire. Myrmica ruginodis Nylander was able to survive only in less severely burned moist sites, whereas it benefitted from the enhanced light conditions in a non-burned clear-cut. The fire resulted in an essentially ant-free terrain into which pioneering species immigrated. The mortality of nest-founding queens appeared to be high. The results supported the hypothesis that the pioneering species tend to be those that are capable of independent colony founding, followed by species founding nests through temporary nest parasitism. The succession of the burned clear-cut differed from that of the non-burned one, suggesting that habitat selection in immigration and priority effects, i.e. competition, introduce deterministic components in the successional pathways of boreal ant communities.
The occurrence of Caleopsis bifida on clear-cut and burned forest soil and its disappearance in 4–6 years after disturbance is attributed to its germination ecology. Initially the seeds are dormant 96–100% and remain dormant in nylon gaze bags in different types of forest humus layers at least 10 years. Dormancy is released in laboratory (1) by treatment of 100 ppm aqueous solution of GA3, (2) by heating the dormant seeds to 40–55°C for 1–5 h, and (3) by 1% KNO3 solution. It is concluded that conditions in clear-cut and burned areas favour germination of seeds in regard to temperature and content of nitrates in contrast to humus of closed vegetation where the seeds remain dormant.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
Different sampling methods (the percentage cover scale, the graphical method, two-point quadrat methods, the five-, nine- and twelve-class cover scales, and the biomass harvesting) were used in estimating abundance of ground vegetation in clear-cut areas and on an abandoned field in Southern and Central Finland. The results are examined with the help of DCA ordinations. In addition, the species numbers and diversity indices obtained by different sampling methods are compared.
There were no large differences in DCA configurations between the sampling methods. According to all the sampling methods, a complex soil fertility-moisture gradient (a forest site type) was interpreted as the main ordination gradient in the vegetation data for clear-cut areas. However, different sampling methods did not give similar estimates of species numbers and diversity indices.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of cutting of different intensities on the hydrology of drained peatland. The study concerned with measuring changes in the ground water level, throughfall, and snow cover, and specially runoff. This study focused on the phenomena that occur during the growing season. Seven sample plots were measured in an area in Central Finland which had been drained about 50 years earlier and had Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand of uniform age.
To survey the hydrological effects of cuttings, 20%, 40% and 60% of the stand volume was removed in thinnings. In addition, one sample plot was clear-cut. During the first two years after cutting the interception diminished, and throughfall increased by 7% for the 20% thinning, by 8% for the 40% thinning and by 12% for the 60% thinning. Clear cutting increased the throughfall by 29%. The thinnings increased the depth of the snow cover the more the heavier the thinning.
Even the lightest thinning raised the ground water table, but the difference between 20% and 40% thinning was not marked. Cuttings increased runoff the greater the heavier the cutting. The hydrological changes of fellings were detrimental for the site. However, there was a marked change only between the 40% and 60% thinnings. Fertilization had a favourable effect on the hydrology of the peatland by increasing the depth of ground water table, and decreasing the throughfall.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.